Cricket: Drums beat for Cramond after cricket ODI washout
THE drive for a new facility for Scottish cricket at Cramond in Edinburgh was emboldened yesterday when Scotland’s One Day International with England fell victim to the recent flooding.
The damage to the Stockbridge area of the capital, and Water of Leith’s bursting of its banks, caused major problems for the Grange Cricket Club and despite the club’s enthusiasm for the Adam & Company ODI, due to be held on Sunday 12 August, it was accepted after Wednesday’s deluge that an estimated 4,000 spectators and the required infrastructure could now decimate the famous ground.
Cricket Scotland chief executive Roddy Smith stated: “It is a hugely frustrating decision that Cricket Scotland have had to make, but we could not justifiably take the risk of building on a ground so saturated from a major flood and six weeks of consistent rain. It could leave the Grange resembling a mudbath.
“The build is only two weeks away and with an unsettled forecast for the remainder of July we have had to make a decision based on the facts presented to us and the professional advice we have taken. We have been faced with an unprecedented and sustained period of rain that has, unfortunately, taken the season’s biggest game from us.
“All ticket holders will be refunded in full by our ticketing partner, Ticket Soup, and we will be contacting everyone who has purchased a ticket with free offers to attend matches next season. Everyone is very disappointed but understands the exceptional circumstances we are faced with.”
The summer’s rainfall has been unprecedented, with some areas of the Grange under five feet of water and 40 metres of the main wall around the ground destroyed by the water. But Smith agreed that it underlined the need for the purpose-built development proposed for Cramond, which received planning permission from City of Edinburgh Council earlier this year.
“It is fundamental for us to have a facility that we are in control of and that is suitable for international cricket,” said Smith.
“We have a real problem with facilities for cricket in Scotland and while we have terrific support from clubs like the Grange, who accept that their ground will be damaged to some extent by internationals even in great weather, we don’t have one that is set up for modern-day internationals and the infrastructure that goes with it. This is why we have been looking at a purpose-built facility where we have control over its building from day one and can create the hard, concrete area around the outside to take stands and tents irrespective of the weather. Although we can’t do much about rain on match-days grounds like Durham would not have had to call a game like this off this early.”
The plans for the old Moray House PE College site in Cramond centre on a combined national centre for cricket and tennis or football.
Judy Murray has spoken of her support for a tennis facility being built with the cricket, and Smith is confident that the facility could house a training complex for Scotland’s professional cricketers, and age-grade and women’s squads, international-quality match venue and Cricket Scotland’s offices. The main hurdle, as always in Scotland, is funding.
Edinburgh-based housing developer AMA is leading the project, which also has a care village, community facilities and a physiotherapy injury clinic within the 33-acre site, but the cricket facility is estimated to cost more than £4m.
Cricket Scotland is looking to the ICC and sportscotland for funding, but even if that is successful they are still likely to need to find more than £2m.
“We are looking at how we might achieve that with sponsorship, loans, debentures and other ideas,” he added. “It is a huge outlay, but as the loss of this game underlines it is an absolute fundamental to Scottish international cricket moving forward.
“We won’t lose a lot financially from the England game being cancelled, because we insure ourselves against this, but we will lose a lot in terms of the opportunity for our players to play against England and the loss of a great cricket attraction in Scotland, watched by several thousand people, and many more thousands on Sky TV, and just the excitement that comes with watching an ODI with England in great conditions in Scotland.
“It is a huge blow to us and that is why we need to get moving on a purpose-built facility now.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
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Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
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